Thursday 14 August 2003

come on feel the noize

According to this article from The Register, blogs are creating too much "noise" in Google search results. For example, you decide that you really need to find information about vomiting jackals, so you type "vomiting jackals"* into Google. Amongst the hits listed is my site, leading you to click on my link and discover that you're at some chick's blog that has absolutely nothing to do with mammals with stomach disorders. How annoying. So the idea is to remove blogs from search engines, thus reducing the "noise".

Grand idea, with a slight hitch - some of the search strings that have led to my site actually provided meaningful information for the searcher. Someone who found my site on Google wrote to me thanking me for having a picture of Camille Claudel's sculpture "The Gossips" on my site, as she needed to see what it looked like for an upcoming art exam. Many people have found my trip diaries whilst searching for travel destinations, and have come across my blog after searching for various restaurants and shops that I've mentioned. Granted, I get hundreds of hits per month from people searching for totally unrelated information (sorry, I don't have any links or useful data regarding conjoined twins, how to build a recessed shelf in your shower, cheesy road trip songs, games about microwaving hamsters, or pictures of a wooly hat)* but I do get hits for information I do actually provide.

The fact is, many people have sites that contain more than blog entries. Should these site be excluded from Google searches because they have a blog section? Should blogs be excluded full stop, even if some have relevant information and links? Of course not. A web site of a certain "genre" should not be banned because of the assumption that sites of this type are never informative. Even some people read Playboy for the articles, for goodness sake.

*(Actual search strings leading to this site.)

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